How simple adjustment helped Drew Pomeranz find old form, blank Dodgers

How simple adjustment helped Drew Pomeranz find old form, blank Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- A week ago, Giants manager Bruce Bochy marveled at how a 5-0 lead turned into a 6-5 deficit in about 10 minutes at Camden Yards. In the first 10 minutes Friday night at Oracle Park, Drew Pomeranz again found himself in trouble.

Pomeranz loaded the bases ahead of lefty-killer David Freese in the first inning Friday, but he struck out Freese with a curveball and then got Corey Seager on a fastball. That was followed by two more strikeouts in the second, and one to open a clean third.

By the end of the fifth, Pomeranz had walked off with five shutout innings on his line, and possibly a fresh start. The Giants beat the Dodgers 2-1, handing Clayton Kershaw his first loss of the year. 

Pomeranz was ready to build off it, and not just because of the results. He threw two bullpen sessions between starts and before the second one he approached the club’s analytics staff and asked for info about his arm slot. The data confirmed what Pomeranz was feeling, that he was too often getting “on the side” of the ball.

“I worked real hard in moving my arm spot up a little and getting on top of the ball,” he said. “I think I’ve been on the side of it the last couple of years and this year. That makes everything flatten out.”

The results against the best team in the National League were encouraging. Pomeranz allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out seven. He got 20 called strikes and eight swinging, four apiece on his fastball and curveball. 

“I was getting some swings I haven’t gotten in a while,” he said. 

Pomeranz needed 51 pitches to get through the first two innings, but unlike some of his other starts -- most notably against the Reds and Orioles -- he dug down and found another gear. This was the second time in 11 starts with the Giants that Pomeranz didn't allow a run, and the first time since April 24 that he completed five innings. 

[RELATED: Belt shakes off Kershaw history, rallied Giants past Dodgers]

Pomeranz was coming off a May -- 22 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings -- that very nearly knocked him from the rotation. He said he thought about that over the last week, but he was given another shot and ran with it.

“We’ve all been in a situation like that where you don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “All you can do is show up every day and put your work in.” 

Bruce Bochy named Team France manager for World Baseball Classic

Bruce Bochy named Team France manager for World Baseball Classic

SAN FRANCISCO -- There was a poorly-kept secret as Bruce Bochy marched toward his final game as manager of the Giants: Bochy was going to manage again in 2020. This week, it became official. 

The France Baseball Association announced that Bochy will manage Team France in the World Baseball Classic qualifier taking place in Tucson, Arizona from March 22-27. France will be competing with Germany, Spain and others to get a spot in the 2021 WBC.

Bochy had met with the association during the summer but had to iron out some details after the season. 

Didier Seminet, the president of the French federation, said he was "proud to announce Bruce Bochy" as manager and noted that Bochy, born in Landes de Bussac, has a "special relationship" with the country. 

"We are very honored and excited that he wishes to seize this opportunity to help the development of French baseball," Seminet said in a statement. 

This is something Bochy has been looking forward to, and he recently said that he's excited about making it a family affair. His brother, Joe, will be on the coaching staff.

[RELATED: Report: Dodgers focus on MadBum after Cole picks Yanks]

Brett Bochy, a former Giants prospect who pitched for his father at the big league level, will be on the pitching staff. When Brett visited Oracle Park for his father's final series as manager, he said he already was working out in preparation for returning to the mound.

Ron Wotus, a third base coach for Gabe Kapler next season, is also expected to be on the staff

Where new Giants prospect Will Wilson ranks in team's farm system

Where new Giants prospect Will Wilson ranks in team's farm system

The Giants essentially bought veteran infielder Zack Cozart's contract from the Angels on Tuesday to add a talented young prospect.

San Francisco acquired Cozart and middle infield prospect Will Wilson from the Angels for a player to be named later or cash. The Giants are taking on all of Cozart's $12.67 million contract for the 2020 season. Cozart will become a free agent in 2021. The 34-year-old, who has hit just .190 with five home runs the last two seasons, was an All-Star when healthy in 2017, but Wilson is the real prize of the deal. 

Wilson was selected No. 15 overall by the Angels in the 2019 MLB Draft. He immediately became a top-10 Giants prospect after the trade. MLB Pipeline ranks him No. 10 overall in the team's farm system, and FanGraphs has him even higher. 

The 21-year-old hit .275 with a .768 OPS and five home runs in 46 games at rookie ball in his debut season. He played 28 games at shortstop and 13 at second base. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wilson will play both positions in the minor leagues, and the front office believes he will stick as a middle infielder. 

[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

Wilson was a consensus All-American as a junior at NC State, and was voted ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He hit .352 with nine homers and a 1.089 OPS in his final season for the Wolfpack. 

Prior to being traded to the Giants, Wilson was ranked as the Angels' No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He comes in lower with San Francisco, showing how much the Giants' farm system is on the rise with top prospects like Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Marco Luciano and others.